Terese J. Singer

Spousal Maintenance Termination

Milwaukee Attorneys Skilled in Family Law Matters

In many marriages, one spouse makes significantly more money than the other. This may be because one spouse has taken time off work to raise kids, has sacrificed their own career goals for the benefit of the other spouse, or simply has not needed to provide for the family because the breadwinner spouse has been able to do so. In these situations, when divorce occurs, the spouse who has earned more money will often be required to pay spousal maintenance to the other spouse after the marriage ends. This may be an immense burden on some people, as well as a critical support to others, and many Wisconsin residents are eager to understand how the spousal maintenance termination process works. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, our Milwaukee divorce lawyers are familiar with the rules in this area and can help you understand how they may apply to your situation.

The Duration of Spousal Maintenance

In most divorces, a family law court will set a limited period of time for an award of spousal maintenance. The time period during which one spouse will be required to pay money to the other depends on a wide range of factors, including the employment history of both spouses, how likely it is that the spouse seeking maintenance will become self-supporting, the length of the marriage, custody arrangements, the earning capacity of each spouse, and whether the spouses had any agreement about maintenance. Generally, courts will assume that the spouse seeking maintenance should be able to get back on their feet within a reasonable amount of time. However, when the spouses have been married for a very long time, during which one spouse has not worked, or when a spouse is unable to work for reasons such as health, it is possible that a court will award permanent spousal maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance Termination Before A Court Award Ends

Whether a court has put a set end date on spousal maintenance, or the maintenance is indefinite, it may still be terminated in certain situations. First, unsurprisingly, if a spouse dies, the spousal maintenance award will terminate. More importantly, spousal maintenance may also terminate if your spouse enters a new relationship with another individual. When a spouse remarries, maintenance will terminate. Additionally, even if a former spouse declines to formally remarry but is living in a long-term relationship with another individual, the former spouse who owes maintenance may petition the court to terminate the maintenance or lower it on this basis. Thus, spouses cannot avoid possible termination simply by declining to formally tie the knot. While spousal maintenance is often an important element of a divorce that allows a former spouse to get back on their feet, courts are reluctant to allow it to be exploited.

Contact a Milwaukee Lawyer to Discuss Concerns Regarding Spousal Maintenance

If you are currently paying spousal maintenance to a former partner and are concerned about how long your financial obligations will continue, or you believe that spousal maintenance may no longer be warranted because your former spouse is now in a new relationship, you may want to seek the termination of the maintenance payments that you are making. Alternatively, if your ex-spouse is seeking to terminate payments, but you still need the support, you will want to present a persuasive case regarding why maintenance is still appropriate. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, our family law attorneys have helped many Wisconsin residents reach maintenance arrangements that are satisfactory to all of the parties involved. We are available to assist people in Milwaukee, Mequon, Racine, Waukesha, West Bend, and other communities in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, West Bend, and Waukesha Counties with issues related to spousal maintenance termination. Contact us at (414) 271-6400 or online to set up a free appointment with an experienced attorney.

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